5 AUGUST 2019
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A much-anticipated fleet update programme for Air France-KLM took off last week with the group signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 60 Airbus A220-300s to be operated by Air France.
The order is a boost for Belfast as wings and fuselage components for the A220, formerly the Bombardier C Series, are still made there at the Canadian aerospace company’s Northern Ireland operation.
Announcing the order, Air France-KLM group CEO Benjamin Smith also said the group’s Airbus A380 would be retired earlier than planned as part of the fleet shake-up.
On the A220s, he said: “By acquiring the industry’s most efficient and technologically advanced single-aisle aircraft, the airline will benefit from a significant reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions.
“The acquisition of these brand new A220-300s aligns perfectly with Air France-KLM’s overall fleet modernisation and harmonisation strategy.”
In another boost last week, Air France-KLM announced a 16% rise in operating profit during the second quarter of this year, which the company said was attributable to cost-cutting measures implemented by Smith, who became CEO last September.
The cuts and higher passenger numbers offset an increase in fuel costs, the group said, with operating income rising to €400m, ahead of expectations.
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